Clive Hayward – @Byehorse
Clive reports back from a jubilant Plainmoor
TORQUAY UNITED 6-1 ALDERSHOT TOWN – MATCH SUMMARY
On All Saints Day, Torquay United saved me from having to base this report on Appleton sisters puns by turning in a stunning performance to rout Aldershot 6-1. Never Ever have they ever felt so low.
Here are the highlights:
Asa Hall hit the outside of the post 6 minutes in.
After 8 minutes Dillon De Silva went down the right and crossed low. The ball broke to Aaron Jarvis, who with back to goal produced a stunning overhead kick to give Torquay an early lead.
Mark Halstead made a smart save immediately after the goal, but our normal jitters were calmed after 20 minutes when Tom Lapslie crowned a barnstorming start with a lovely goal. It was a give and go on the edge of the box and a lovely finish from the little legend.
Will Goodwin showed his pedigree on 29 minutes with a classy touch and finish to put the Yellows three up.
Aldershot briefly woke up and a goal before half time wouldn’t have been a surprise, but they couldn’t find a finish. Switching wings the returning Steven Wearne dinked a delicious cross which Jarvis only just failed to glance home.
So: three nil at half time.
The Aldershot manager employed the traditional tactic of sending his team out early for the second half, but within 4 minutes they were five down. First Jarvis rose unopposed to head a corner down and in for a quick settler and then De Silva scrapped to keep the ball, sprayed it to Donnellan who knocked in a brilliant diagonal cross for Asa Hall to head an emphatic fifth.
The old men- Hall, then Moxey- were taken off early for a well-deserved rest.
Shots’ first sub was the spectacularly inappropriately named Klass.
Our supersub Ali Omar managed to gift Aldershot a consolation goal but we continued to play some lovely passing & moving football, and Jarvis slid in to finish both a lovely move & his own hat trick with four minutes to go.
I’ll write it again. Torquay United 6, Aldershot Town 1. A barely believable score-line but, in truth, no more than the rejuvenated home team deserved.
Halstead 7 – Not faultless but made an important early save when it was only one nil, and did well to claim a ball I thought he would drop late on.
Donnellan 7.5- A good night at right back for a lad who normally worries me a lot. Seemed to relish joining in with De Silva (see below). Occasionally got ambition mixed up with ability, but put in a superb cross for the fourth goal.
Ness 7.5- Not much to report. He didn’t miss much, and looks as though he belongs in a competent back four. This season, having a centre half you can watch without circus music playing in your head has been a rarity, so it was lovely to see.
Ellis 8- We have been crying out for this sort of defender who can sense danger and organise rather than react to it and panic. He shouts well, but the squeaky voice he does it with adds some comedy. It’s lovely to have him on board.
Moxey 7 (Omar 57)- If Carlsberg did Tuesday nights for elderly left backs they would probably feature being subbed for a nice rest when your team is five nil up. Not his greatest game, perhaps, but just before going off he pulled off an athletic interception that belied his advanced years.
De Silva 7.5- Maybe not quite “box office” but well worth the price of admission. He ran his socks off and had a good go at Notts County on Saturday. Tonight, against much poorer quality opposition and able to work down the right, he looked a threat. Decent pace and will always try to beat his full back. End product not consistent, but there’s a lot of it: plenty of crosses. It’s what he’s there for. I would offer him a deal. We may be his level.
Hall 7.5 (McGavin 50)- This isn’t the time or the place to dispute whether we should rely on the old boy as much as we have had to. He was part of a much more dynamic midfield tonight and his strikes to goals ratio must be fantastic. He was never missing his header for the fifth goal and departed to smoke a large cigar.
Lapslie 8- All action but no little quality from the maestro tonight. If a little Italian centrocampista had played a one-two and slotted the finish like him, we’d have been in a pizza and pyro situation. James Richardson would have waxed lyrical. Golazzo!
Wearne (Thompson 83) 8- What a lovely return. Playing in League Two hasn’t done the young Teessider any harm. He looked a class act down the left. Decent first touch and always wanted the ball. A good outlet and balanced the team beautifully, allowing De Silva to play on his natural side. You could almost smell the gratitude coming off Gary Johnson when he subbed him, allowing him a well-deserved ovation.
Jarvis 8- Oddly, for a hat trick hero, I didn’t think he was our best striker tonight. He took his goals really well though, and knows how to win a free kick. If we can keep Aaron fit and he keeps his elbows down we’ll have a good chance of climbing the league.
Goodwin 8.5- I thought he was fantastic tonight. Aggression, power and technique. Scored a fantastic goal to put the game well and truly to bed. The lad from the Potteries can probably do it on a cold night in Stoke and certainly produced the goods on a cool one in Torquay.
McGavin (for Hall 50) 6.5- Not terrible, but doesn’t now look worth a place in the starting eleven. I had such high hopes for him in pre-season. Maybe he will come again.
Omar (for Moxey, 57) 6- Brought on to play on the left of a back three. Tried to pass and move. Also keen to make the overlap down the left. Did, in fact, get in around the back on one occasion and pulled back a respectable cross. But big centre backs primarily need to defend, and his positional sense remains poor. Was at fault for the goal, losing his man on a cross that travelled a long way.
Thompson (for Wearne, 83)- Looks keen. Quite stocky. Sported dreadlocks.
Tomlinson & Lovett- unused.
MAN OF THE MATCH – WILL GOODWIN
I really like this lad. Where there’s a Will there’s a way. He never stopped running. After 90 minutes of futile endeavour at Notts County- playing on his own at the front of an outclassed team- he got his rewards tonight. His goal was classy. He took down what some have described as a brilliant through ball but what I felt had more than a hint of hit and hope, and only needed one more touch before producing an emphatic finish. Could have scored more and has a great attitude. If there is any justice he will have a really good career.
Absolutely spoilt for choice here. Mark Ellis’ yelping authority bodes very well for our defensive stability. Tom Lapslie had a great game. Dillon De Silva clearly loved every minute- including springing right up when clattered- and finally, we have Jarvis for his hat trick. If he reads this he will doubtless be screaming blue murder that I haven’t given him Man of the Match. Well go and win the next one then Aaron!
There was barely a bad tackle all night and I can’t remember a yellow card from referee Matthew Russell. Good to see. Mr Russell’s assistants were Thomas Kelly (not the left back and certainly not our Hampton correspondent) and a guy with a name Charles Dickens would have reserved for a portly confectioner: Samuel Fudge!
4-4-2 with two wingers. Wingers. How we love to see them. Whitewash on their boots, jinks, turns and crosses. It was a memorable first half.
To give Dean Moxey a rest, we switched to 3-5-2 once the game was completely safe. Until the last few minutes, the midfield five was Wearne, McGavin, Lapslie, Donnellan and De Silva. More excitingly, however, the reshuffle at the back left us with:
Ellis, Lucas and Omar.
Or, to put it another way:
Mark, Ness, Monster!
Oh dear. Aldershot came to Plainmoor on a good run, but they never got started tonight. If they had scored during 10 minutes of reasonable pressure before half time we may have seen a different game, but they offered little and their hardy 150 fans will doubtless be cursing them all the way back up the A303.
You win nothing with kids, and I’ll tell you this- you win nothing with poor footballers either. Tonight, with the likes of Wearne, Ellis and Ness we had a team with far less dross than of late. The loanees made a huge difference. Everything went our way, but you don’t fluke games 6-1 and perhaps we can start to hope again after a hideous three months. The FA Cup tie against Derby County on Sunday is a free hit. It might even be fun now!